Conference Paper

Pilots’ Interaction with Hardware Controls in a Virtual Reality Flight Simulator

Authors:
  • Airbus Defence and Space
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of a Virtual Reality Flight Simulator (VRFS) on pilots’ performance and workload while flying visual circuit patterns. The aim of this research is to compare and quantify the difference between this novel simulation environment and well-known and widely used hardware simulators. A general aviation simulator that serves as a baseline was recreated in the virtual environment. The experimental evaluation was conducted with 28 pilots who performed two traffic patterns in each environment. In virtual reality most participants were able to safely and reliably complete the flight task after a short acclimatization phase. The results allow quantifying the degradation of performance metrics and the increase of workload in the virtual environment. The results will be used for future research with the virtual reality flight simulation.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Further research on the fidelity of the system will be conducted as well. Another paper in these proceedings is dedicated to pilots' interaction performance during the same trial that was presented here (Oberhauser, Dreyer, Braunstingl, & Koglbauer, 2016). As VR hardware evolves, a high-resolution, high-field-of-view head mounted display will be integrated into the system. ...
Conference Paper
This paper investigates the effect of a Virtual Reality Flight Simulator (VRFS) on pilots’ performance and workload while flying visual circuit patterns. The aim of this research is to compare and quantify the difference between this novel simulation environment and well-known and widely used hardware simulators. A general aviation simulator that serves as a baseline was recreated in the virtual environment. The experimental evaluation was conducted with 28 pilots who performed two traffic patterns in each environment. In virtual reality most participants were able to safely and reliably complete the flight task after a short acclimatization phase. The results allow quantifying the degradation of performance metrics and the increase of workload in the virtual environment. The results will be used for future research with the virtual reality flight simulation.
Article
Full-text available
With the help of immersive virtual reality technology, novel cockpit systems can be evaluated with pilots in an early design phase. This comparative study investigates the functional fidelity of a virtual reality flight simulator (VRFS) in comparison with a conventional flight simulator. Pilots’ movement time to reach cockpit controls, deviation from the ideal flight path, workload, and simulator sickness are evaluated using an operational scenario. The results show statistically significant differences in heading, altitude, and flight path, as well as delays in operating the controls in virtual reality. Yet, most participants could safely and reliably complete the flight task. For use cases in which adaptations to pace, exposure time, and flight task are acceptable, which is often the case in early phases of the design process, VRFSs can be viable tools for human factors engineering.
Conference Paper
Flight simulators with a physical mock-up are dependent on the aircraft type and have high costs. In order to overcome high cost issues, a generic virtual reality flight simulator is designed. Virtual buttons are used without a physical mock-up to make the virtual reality flight simulator independent of the aircraft type. The classic virtual hand metaphor is employed to interact with the virtual objects. This paper examines the virtual hand-button interaction in the generic virtual reality flight simulator where no haptic feed-back is provided. The effect of the collision volume of a virtual button during the virtual hand-button interaction is determined. It is concluded that a change in the collision volume within aircraft design limits, does not have a significant impact on the interaction. We also investigate different virtual hand avatars. We find that the accuracy of hand-button interaction depends on the hand avatar rather than the collision volume. Representing a smaller part of the hand avatar results in less efficient interaction. This shows the size and shape of hand avatars plays a major role in the virtual reality simulator design. This finding contributes to the various virtual reality applications which exploit the virtual hand metaphor.
Chapter
This research presents a Virtual Reality Flight Simulator (VRFS) for the rapid integration and evaluation of Human Machine Interface (HMI) prototypes in a functional aircraft cockpit environment. In contrast to engineering mock-ups or full flight simulators, the digital cockpit mock-up of the VRFS presented here has a major advantage—it can be adapted without time- and cost-intensive hardware conversions, which is ideal, particularly in the early stages of the design process. The virtual cockpit is also connected to a flight simulation. This means that not only ergonomic but also cognitive aspects of new HMI components can be evaluated. This leads to the main objective of the VRFS: Demonstrating novel systems alongside existing cockpit components while using realistic operational scenarios. Thus, the subject’s feedback does not only include comments on the HMI but also on its functional interaction with the cockpit ecosystem. This paper shows the technical setup of the VRFS and demonstrates the integration and evaluation of an HMI component in a use case.
Conference Paper
This research presents a Virtual Reality Flight Simulator (VRFS) that combines the advantages of desktop simulations and hardware mock-ups, i.e. the flexibility of a desktop flight simulation with the level of immersion close to a full flight simulator. In contrast to similar existing VR flight simulators, the presented system focuses on Human Factors (HF) research and is used for evaluating flight decks already in an early phase of the design process. In this paper, four user studies are presented that demonstrate the application of integrated HF methods and the usability of the system. The scope of the VRFS lies in between desktop simulations and a full hardware mock-up and cannot replace either of these. However, it is a reliable low-cost addition in the early development process of flight decks when it comes to HF evaluations.
A Generic Virtual Reality Flight Simulator
  • T Aslandere
  • D Dreyer
  • F Pantkratz
  • R Schubotz
Aslandere, T., Dreyer, D., Pantkratz, F., & Schubotz, R. (2014). A Generic Virtual Reality Flight Simulator. In Virtuelle und Erweiterte Realität, 11. Workshop der GI-Fachgruppe VR/AR (pp. 1-13). Aachen: Shaker Verlag.
Aufbau und Evaluation eines immersiven computerbasierten Trainingssystems in der Pilotenausbildung. Bericht aus dem Fachgebiet Flugsysteme und Regelungstechnik der TU Darmstadt
  • K.-U Dörr
Dörr, K.-U. (2004). Aufbau und Evaluation eines immersiven computerbasierten Trainingssystems in der Pilotenausbildung. Bericht aus dem Fachgebiet Flugsysteme und Regelungstechnik der TU Darmstadt. Stuttgart: Ergonomia-Verl.
Ergonomic software tools in product and workplace design. A review of recent developments in human modeling and other design aids
  • L Goutal
Goutal, L. (2000). Ergonomics assessment for aircraft cockpit using the virtual mock-up. In K. Landau (Ed.), Ergonomic software tools in product and workplace design. A review of recent developments in human modeling and other design aids (pp. 173-183). Stuttgart: Verlag Ergon.
Interaktionsmechanismen zur Verbesserung der Mensch-Maschine-Schnittstelle am Beispiel eines virtuellen Flugsimulators
  • S Hüsgen
  • U Klingauf
Hüsgen, S., & Klingauf, U. (2005). Interaktionsmechanismen zur Verbesserung der Mensch-Maschine-Schnittstelle am Beispiel eines virtuellen Flugsimulators. In Deutscher Luft-u. Raumfahrtkongress. Retrieved from http://tubiblio.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/48761/
Rapid Integration and Evaluation of Functional HMI Components in a Virtual Reality Aircraft Cockpit
  • M Oberhauser
  • D Dreyer
  • T Convard
  • S Mamessier
Oberhauser, M., Dreyer, D., Convard, T., & Mamessier, S. (2016). Rapid Integration and Evaluation of Functional HMI Components in a Virtual Reality Aircraft Cockpit. In F. Rebelo & M. Soares (Eds.), Advances in Ergonomics in Design: Proceedings of the AHFE 2016 International Conference on Ergonomics in Design, July 27-31, 2016, Walt Disney World®, Florida, USA (pp. 17-24). Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-41983-1_2
Evaluating Pilot Flight Performance during Visual Traffic Patterns in a Virtual Reality Flight Simulator
  • M Oberhauser
  • D Dreyer
  • I Koglbauer
  • R Braunstingl
Oberhauser, M., Dreyer, D., Koglbauer, I., & Braunstingl, R. (2016). Evaluating Pilot Flight Performance during Visual Traffic Patterns in a Virtual Reality Flight Simulator. 32nd EAAP Conference.
Virtual Flight Simulator
  • F Persiani
  • L Piancastelli
  • A Liverani
Persiani, F., Piancastelli, L., & Liverani, A. (1997). Virtual Flight Simulator. In Proceedings of the 10th ADM International Conference on Design Tools and Methods in Industrial Engineering (pp. 693-701).
ROS: an open-source Robot Operating System. ICRA workshop on open source software, 3(3.2), 5. Society of Automotive Engineers International
  • M Quigley
  • K Conley
  • B Gerkey
  • J Faust
  • T Foote
  • J Leibs
  • . . Ng
Quigley, M., Conley, K., Gerkey, B., Faust, J., Foote, T., Leibs, J.,... Ng, A. Y. (2009). ROS: an open-source Robot Operating System. ICRA workshop on open source software, 3(3.2), 5. Society of Automotive Engineers International, Aerospace Recommended Practices ARP 5288 (2001). Warrendale, USA.
Guidance, Navigation, and Control and Co-located Conferences
  • I Yavrucuk
  • E Kubali
  • O Tarimci
  • D Yilmaz
Yavrucuk, I., Kubali, E., Tarimci, O., & Yilmaz, D. (2009). A Low Cost Flight Simulator Using Virtual Reality Tools. In American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Ed.), Guidance, Navigation, and Control and Co-located Conferences. AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi:10.2514/6.2009-5832